New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 26, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAYEagles take monthly golf outing. See Page 1B,
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14 pages in two sections ■ Thursday, June 26,1997Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 145 years ■ Home of Duane and Bobatta Williams
Vol. 145, No. 161
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Kelly Reynolds, Monty Portis, Lacy Mosier (ll years), Emily Roue Dailey (2 years), Christo* plier Doerr, Gloria Castro, Gloria Castro, Barbara Holden,
Joey Trevino, Faryn Witten, Roadie Mira Rosales, Megan Mendez (5 years), Alice Clasen, Jade Hunsucker (50 years), and Brodee Hunter Meyer (2 years) Happy anniversary wishes go to Duane and Bobette Williams.
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
(Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
Comal River — 345 cubic feet per second, same.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 626.54 feet above sea level, up .05 from Wednesday
Canyon Dam discharge — 212 cfs (see Heads Up)
Canyon Lake inflow — not available Canyon Lake level — 936.97 feet above sea level. (Above conservation pool.)
NSU reports pumping 5.562 million gallons of surface waler Wednesday, and 1 .OOO miMon gallons of well water were used.
Chance of rain still doss not disappear
A chance of rain in the county will linger in the forecast for today and Friday.
Tonight calls for partly cloudy skies turning mostly cloudy by midnight. There’s a 20 percent chance of evening showers or thunderstorms.
The low will be in near 70 and a southeast wind at 5 to 10 mph will be blowing.
Friday’s forecast is a repeat of Thursday’s, with partly cloudy skies, a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms, a high near 90 and a south wind at 5 to 10 mph
Officials close boat ramps at lake
Because of the recent increase of the water surface elevation at Canyon Lak3, the Comal County Road Department has closed seven of its eight public boat ramps The only Comal County boat ramp open at this time is located in Canyon Lake Hills Subdivision at Tom Creek.
Discharge rata will ba increased soon
As of press time, Gruene Bridge was open to traffic.
Just how long it will remain open is another matter.
A spokesman for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers said the discharge rate from Canyon Dam may be increased from about 200 cfs to about 5,000 cfs late today or Friday. When the increased flow reaches Gruene, the bridge will be inundated.
Recreational users of the Guadalupe River should be aleft to the possible changes in tfie river’s condition and the dangers associated with the change in the flow rate.
Also closed are FM 1863 from FM 3009 to Hwy. 281; Obst Road at Cibolo Creek; and Rebecca Creek Road at the Guadalupe River.
Candace Hasldns, administrative secretary from Canyon Lake Waler Supply Corporation, pumpefreeh water for George Fuller wednesday afternoon.
Herald-Zeitung photo by David DeKunder
Nine vie for NBISD board slots
By DENISE DZIUK
The list of candidates for the Aug. 9 election for the New Braunfels Independent School District board of trustees is complete, with the last candidate, Frank Panebianco, filing on the last day for a place on the ballot.
Voters will decide who will fill two at-large seats, the District I seat and the remaining term for the District 4 seat. Potential candidates had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to decide whether to run, and the list of vote seekers is now complete.
Nine individuals filed for the four seats. In District I, Henry Garza will challenge incumbent Sylvia Sanchez. In District 4, vacated in April when then-board president Jaime Padilla resigned, Bill Biggadike and Deanna Villarreal will face off to fill the unexpired term.
Five candidates are running for die two at-large seats. Incumbent Bette Spain will run against Stacie Rickel, Donald Bedford, Yolanda Longoria and Panebianco. Leo Chafm, who currently holds the other at-large seat, announced earlier this week that he would not seek another term.
NBISD public information officer Leslie Kriewaldt said voter turnout for the four contested races could be high.
“Especially since there’s so many candidates, and there’s at-large (races) so everyone can vote,” said Kriewaldt.
Voters have until July IO to register to vote in the election. Early voting for the Aug. 9 board of trustees election will run from July 21 to Aug. 5 at the Comal County Courthouse, the Guadalupe County Courthouse and the NBISD Education Center. Early voting polls at the education center will also be open Saturday, Aug. 2.
Kriewaldt said the early voting polling place at the NBISD education center has changed slightly. This year, voters will enter the building through the street-level back entrance, and voting will be held in the VEH classroom, she said. She said the move provides better access and more room for voters.
‘‘It was more convenient. There was more room for people to come in and out,” said Kriewaldt. “This way ifs easy and it keeps all that traffic out of the main entry way.”
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day.
This year also will mark the last election held in August. Because of a change in state law, the district must change the date of future elections to either November or May.
Lake residents hunt for water
Water supply line broken, submerged
By DAVID DEKUNDER
CANYON LAKE — Patience was wearing thin Wednesday as the Canyon Lake Water Supply Corporation tried to restore service to customers whose water was shut off when a pipeline submerged in flood waters broke.
Residents in four Canyon Lake sub-
divisions — Triple Peak Ranch Estates, Village Shores, Canyon Lake Village and Canyon Lake Village West — have been without running water since Monday.
The subdivisions are located on the south side of the lake, west of Sattler.
CLWSC general manager Dale Yates said the problems were caused when the pipeline leading to the corporation’s 500,000 gallon per day Triple Peak water surface plant was submerged under 15 feet of water, making it difficult for divers to repair the line.
Comal seniors give proposal mixed reviews
By ABE LEVY
A recent proposal that would bring major changes to the Medicare program drew mixed reviews from Comal County seniors.
The U.S. Senate passed a proposed Medicare plan Tuesday that would increase die age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67 by the year 2027 and raise premiums by as much as four times for recipients with incomes of $100,000 or more.
People with annual salaries of $50,000 or more would face a sliding scale of increased premiums while those whose salaries were less would not be affected.
Supporters of the plan said it would help maintain die Medicare Trust Fund they said could be in jeopardy for future generations.
But, opponents said they thought the proposal would jeopardize health-care services for emcottmon and betray younger taxpayers who expected similar benefits when they turned 65.
The House has a plan that does not include the same provisions, and President Clinton has expressed initial opposition to the Senate plan.
The plan, if passed, would affect almost 6,000 people in Comal County who are eligible for Medicare. It would mark a major restructuring of the federal health care program, officials said.
Most local seniors questioned agreed that reform was needed, bait they differed as to what the best approach would be for the 32-year-old program.
“The majority of retired people aren’t living on $50,000 or more. It’s a good way tocut back on Medicare,” said Wynn Sims, a Canyon Lake woman older than 65.
Sims’ friend, Jessie Lyons of New Braunfels, agreed and said the program needed to last for future generations through cutbacks.
“I think the majority of seniors are interested in seeing that time’s something left in Medicare for the people who came after us,” she said.
Other seniors disagreed.
“I think it’s cheating a bunch of people by doing that,” said Bob Biggers, 77, a retired construction company owner from New Braunfels. “It’s no business of the federal government how much a person makes. If the federal government hadn’t loaned money out of the Social Security fund, there wouldn’t be a problem.”
Carl Newsome, 78, of New Braunfels said the proposed changes would short change the younger generation.
“Personally I think, they’re trying to screw things up,” he said. “When you get to 65, it should be all the same. They take that out of your wages as you work each year. They ought to leave it alone."
‘I think it’s cheating a bunch of peo-| pie by doing that. Ifs no business of the federal government how much a person makes, lf the federal government hadn’t loaned money out of the social security fund, there wouldn’t be a problem.’
— Bob Biggers. New Braunfetf
of retired people aren’t living on $50,000 or more. Ifs a good way to cut back on Medicare.’
— Wynn Sims, Canyon Lake
‘I think the majority of seniors are interested ini seeing that there’s something left in Medicare for the people who come after us.’
— Jessie Lyons, New Braunfels
Mac Campbell, 55, of McQueeney, said Medicare was a stable system that should not be reformed.
"The whole thing is politically motivated,” he said. “The Social Security Trust Fund will never mn dry. That’s a scare tactic. You can quote me on that.”
Turn to Medicare, Page 2A
■ Age of Medicare eligibility would increase from 65 to 67 by 2027.
■ Premiums would be raised four times for recipients with incomes of $100,000 or more.
■ Those with salaries of
$50,000 or more would fall under a sliding scale of increased premiums.
■ Almost 6,000 people in Comal County could be affected.
“Obviously we have a lot of work to do.
People wtjSk have I
to real- ■/ Mi
ize that this crisis is going to come.”
— U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas
Staff, volunteers clean Guadalupe state park
By DAVID DEKUNDER
GUADALUPE RIVER STATE PARK — With the goal of opening up its day use area by the July 4 weekend, Guadalupe River State Park staff members and volunteers were hard at work cleaning up damage from Sunday’s flood.
“Our plan of attack, first of all, is try and clean off the upper level of the’day use area,” said park ranger Deirdre HBsier. “We will be clearing debris, placing picnic tables and barbecue pits back.**
The day use area was engulfed by flood waters when the Guadalupe River crested at 60 feet Sunday afternoon. The flood waters covered the restroom*, the parking
lot and the park store, causing considerable water damage to both the restrooms and the store.
The flood waters came within I foot of the top of the restroom door and submerged the walk-in campsites.
Water damaged the lift station where waste water is stored.
Hisler said the sludge from the lift station was being pumped out Wednesday and the park was trying to get electricity restored to the restrooms as soon as they could.
“We are having to clean out the day restroom and the walk-in tent camp,” she said.
Once the upper level is cleaned up,
Hisler said the surface water well by the river, the park’s source of drinking water, would be back in operation.
When that is done, efforts will focus on the park’s store, Hisler said.
To deal with the massive flood cleanup, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has given the park the OK to hire emergency personnel to help with the cleanup.
Hisler said about six individuals, mostly local people such as teachers who are of!' for the summer, would be hired for those jobs.
“We will have hired them today (Wednesday),” Hisler said. “They will run from mid-June to mid or late July Turn to Park, Page 3A
“The low water line from the intake to the treatment plant is partly designed for sitting in the water, partly designed regularly in a ditch,” Yates said. “Where the pipeline meets at a 90 degree angle, the ground shifted.”
Yates said part of the pipeline is under concrete, making its maintenance a tough task for divers.
“They are having to chisel and jackhammer concrete under 15 feet of water in a 3-foot ditch, re-clamp and install a new gasket and secure the Turn to Water, Page 3A
From staff and wire reports
Local pastors expressed initial concern after Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional in a case involving the city of Boerne and one of its Catholic churches.
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court on Wednesday invalidated the Act on the grounds that the Congress usurped powers of federal courts and the states.
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church asked the city of Boerne for permission to replace its 1923 building but was denied because the church was inside a historic district.
The church then sued the city in 1994 on the basis of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“I’m very disappointed in the ruling,” said Msgr. Eugene (^’Callaghan of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. “The state is regulating the size of its congregation. I think they stepped over the line separating the church and state.”
Other ministers agreed.
“My first thought on the matter is that the congregation could have been more cooperative with the city. My concern is what the broader implications are. I’m always in favor of the church and city officials working together ,” said David Schulte, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in New Braunfels. “What does (the ruling) have to say about the government’s right to religious freedom?”
Pastor David Beatty said he thought the church had property rights in addition to religious freedoms to justify its request to expand.
"Anytime there is a ruling that takes away freedoms, whether its the church or citizens, it bothers me,” he said. “I believe it’s their building. They paid for it and the money to keep it up. They ought to be able to do with it as they please, especially when it comes to a church.”
Religious groups across the nation were enraged by the ruling.
Members of Congress who opposed the court’s ruling seemed more inclined to seek new legislation than a constitutional amendment.
The court case started with the construction plans of the Boerne church.
Turn to Church, Page 3A
Teens from the Youth Habitat of &kSwS$teiiftai<
Guadalupe River Stele Park Wadi—day.Look for summer reading recommendations on Page 5A